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Monday, September 1, 2014

The Common &%$#**# Cold

This annoying little virus with its unending evolutionary mutations has been around as long as we have historical records, and probably more. No one dies of a cold (unlike the flu) but we all are laid low. I don't know a single person who's never caught a cold.

What purpose does this virus serve in the massive jigsaw puzzle of an ecosystem?

God in his wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.   -- Ogden Nash.

Not true, many animals eat flies: frogs, toads, bats, spiders, often other insects, birds. It serves a purpose. Does anything feed on viruses? What connects them to the rest of creation? If we could actually wipe them all out, would it do more harm or more good?

Speaking as someone who's body seems to think cold viruses are Pokemon and must catch them all, I can tell you it would save a lot of trees from being made into tissues if there were no more of them. And it's a damn shame there isn't a way to turn nasal mucous into a fuel source.

Well, I'm no Ogden Nash, but here goes:

Contemplate the lowly virus
Sent by God to sorely try us.
Evolved for purposes unknowable,
To make us glad our noses are blowable,
Else our heads would fair explode
From the ever-increasing load.

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